Medical Fertility Preservation for Men
If you need to have treatment for cancer that may affect your fertility, there are options available to ensure you can still have children in the future.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can affect your sperm production – sometimes this is temporary but in other cases it may be permanent. Once your treatment begins, it may be too late to collect and preserve your sperm as it may already carry genetic damage. So, we strongly recommend you contact our Andrology Unit before commencing any cancer treatment.
Before you begin chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment, some of your semen, containing sperm, can be frozen and kept until you wish to start a family.
Men who have to travel overseas or work in dangerous situations may also want to have their sperm frozen for use in the future.
How does sperm freezing work?
We collect samples in a private room in the Andrology unit, so our scientists can prepare and freeze the sperm as soon as possible before they die. It is also possible for you to collect the semen in your own home during sex, using a special non-toxic condom, which can be purchased from our Andrology units in advance.
If you are unable to collect semen or if there are no sperm in the semen, due to illness, we may be able to collect sperm directly from your testicles using a needle. This is called a testicular biopsy, and is performed in a day surgery under general anaesthetic. We can then use this sperm later in ICSI treatment.
Once the sperm is collected, it is mixed with a protective solution and the temperature is gradually reduced. About 25%-50% of the sperm will survive the process of freezing, and they can be stored for many years. There is an initial freezing fee and yearly fee (billed every six months) for sperm storage, which is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.